iPhone SE vs. iPhone X: Do not buy that refurbished telephone simply but

When the iPhone X first debuted in 2017, it made headlines for a number of causes. It was the primary iPhone to have Face ID, the primary to have an OLED show and the first to have an on-screen notch. On the time it was a top-of-the-class gadget. Now, three years later, it is simply as dependable. Although Apple discontinued the iPhone X a mere 10 months after its launch, the corporate sells refurbished fashions at a heavy low cost: $599 or £599 (64GB) and $699 or £699 (256GB). (Apple doesn’t promote or ship refurbished iPhones to Australia, however that converts to about AU$940 and AU$1,100.) 

Whereas this can be a tempting possibility for these in search of a less expensive iPhone, Apple additionally launched a brand new iPhone SE this yr for $399 (£419, AU$749). The iPhone SE’s specs and appears are just like the iPhone 8, which additionally got here out in 2017, however it has loads of new benefits of its personal that make it a greater purchase than a refurbished iPhone X from Apple.

Angela Lang/CNET

Although it does not have a second telephoto lens and its display screen is not as good because the iPhone X, the smaller iPhone SE nonetheless has a number of upgrades that make it the higher value-buy than a reduced iPhone X. That features an A13 Bionic processor, dual-SIM capabilities and a handful of digicam upgrades. (Neither telephone has a headphone jack, BTW.) If you happen to’re in search of an reasonably priced, model new iPhone with up-to-date help, the iPhone SE must be your go-to.

Learn our Apple iPhone SE (2020) evaluation.

Sarah Tew/CNET

If you happen to personal a working iPhone X, there is not any cause to purchase the iPhone SE. However should you’re tempted to purchase a refurbished one from Apple on the discounted worth, I do not suggest it until you simply actually need that second telephoto digicam for some cause. For one factor, it is doubtless that software program updates from Apple is probably not as strong on a three-year-old gadget than on a brand new one. Second, should you do need all of the aforementioned iPhone SE upgrades or a much bigger display screen, it is higher to get a brand new iPhone 11, which prices the identical as a refurbished iPhone X.

Learn our Apple iPhone X evaluation.

For extra particulars, learn on for a deep dive into how the 2 iPhones stack up.

Design: iPhone X’s greater, sharper show

Regardless of being three years older, the iPhone X nonetheless seems to be fashionable and its chrome steel design comes off as extra premium than the iPhone SE’s aluminum physique. Apart from its apparent notch, the iPhone X can be greater, and has a sharper show with a better decision and pixel density. It has an OLED display screen too, versus the iPhone SE’s LCD show. Basically, OLED screens are regarded to have higher picture high quality and colour distinction, however additionally they value extra and could undergo burn-in. The iPhone X’s display screen is notably brighter, particularly at totally different viewing angles, and it is a tad extra vibrant. I have been utilizing an iPhone X for the previous three years and have not seen any burn-in points.


The notch on the iPhone X.

Josh Miller/CNET

The iPhone SE is Apple’s solely new iPhone that has a bodily residence button. Some individuals could desire that as a result of it is intuitive to make use of and you do not have to make use of swipe gestures to return to the house display screen or name up latest apps such as you would on the iPhone X. The house button additionally homes a fingerprint reader for unlocking the telephone and authorizing digital funds by way of Contact ID. For biometric safety, the iPhone X makes use of Face ID, or facial mapping sensors on the front-facing digicam.

The iPhone X additionally has 3D Contact, an older characteristic that debuted in 2015 within the iPhone 6S. It permits entry to further menu choices and instructions everytime you hard-press your finger in opposition to the display screen. Apple started to part out the characteristic in 2018 with the iPhone XR, and it is now absent from new iPhones. As a substitute, the corporate changed 3D Contact with Haptic Contact. Haptic Contact is on the iPhone SE and does just about the identical factor, besides as a substitute of getting to press down tougher on the display screen, you long-press on the merchandise.

Each units are rated IP67 for water safety. Each are available in black and white however the iPhone SE has a 3rd crimson variant.

Do not dismiss the iPhone SE’s single rear digicam

For the reason that iPhone X has a telephoto digicam and the SE does not, it could seem that the X has the higher hand when taking images. In any case, the iPhone X can seize stunning portrait pictures with the blurred bokeh background, and it will possibly pull off 2x telephoto zoom with out lack of element. It is also obtained digital zoom, which matches as much as 10x for images and 6x for video, zooms in nearer than the iPhone SE (which has 5x digital zoom for images and 3x for video). Lastly, its face-mapping selfie digicam enables you to use the enjoyable Animoji and Memoji options.

However the iPhone SE can nonetheless seize nice portrait images utilizing its software program, and it has one main benefit that the iPhone X does not: the A13 Bionic processor. Due to this newer chip, the iPhone SE can seize good images with its 12-megapixel rear digicam, which is akin to the newest iPhone 11. This chipset additionally permits Apple so as to add digicam upgrades below the hood that improves each picture and video high quality. These embrace:

  • Depth Management for taking portrait images and adjusting the bokeh impact
  • Good HDR, to enhance highlights and shadows
  • Purple-eye correction
  • Quicktake, which helps you to shortly report video with out tapping out of Photograph mode
  • Video enhancements: Prolonged dynamic vary for 30fps, cinematic video stabilization as much as 4K (the iPhone X has as much as 1080p) and stereo recording
  • Entrance-facing digicam: Depth management for Portrait mode, cinematic video stabilization as much as 1080p (the iPhone X has none) and one further Portrait Lighting impact (high-key mono)

Basically, until you want a telephoto zoom or a extra highly effective digital zoom, the iPhone SE ought to fulfill most of your photographic wants regardless of having just one rear digicam. For extra on digicam high quality, you’ll want to learn CNET’s iPhone SE evaluation.

Processor, battery, dual-SIM and reminiscence

The iPhone SE is supplied with Apple’s newest proprietary A13 Bionic chip. The iPhone SE clocked in related outcomes with the iPhone 11 on the benchmark checks 3DMark and Geekbench 5, which is to say that it additionally carried out comparably to — and at occasions higher than — different top-tier telephones such because the Galaxy S20, Pixel 4 and the OnePlus Eight Professional. And the iPhone SE’s consequence for 3DMark’s Ice Storm Limitless check was manner larger (at 97,415 in comparison with 62,206) than the iPhone 8, which has the identical A11 processor because the iPhone X.

Apple's A13 processor in the iPhone 11, 11 Pro, and 11 Pro Max

Apple’s A13 processor.

Screenshot by Stephen Shankland/CNET

Apple by no means discloses its iPhones’ battery capacities. The corporate does listing the identical 13-hour video playback time on each telephones, although, and places the iPhone X’s audio playback at 60 hours in comparison with the iPhone SE’s 40 hours. Nevertheless, once we ran our personal battery checks for video playback on Airplane mode, the iPhone SE lasted longer than the iPhone X by almost Four hours. (To be extra particular, the iPhone SE lasted about 15.5 hours, whereas the iPhone X lasted 11.45 hours.)

The iPhone SE has choices for a nano-SIM and an e-SIM too, that means you may have two numbers on the identical telephone. Twin-SIM capabilities can be helpful should you journey loads and want a telephone overseas, otherwise you need to consolidate each your private and enterprise telephones. And whereas each telephones have a 64GB and 256GB reminiscence possibility, the brand new iPhone SE has a 3rd, 128GB mannequin. That capability is usually seen because the “candy spot” so far as storage goes. That is as a result of 64GB is probably not sufficient to carry all of your images and 4K movies, however 256GB could also be too extreme. 

iPhone SE (2020) vs. iPhone X

Apple iPhone SE (2020) iPhone X
Show measurement, decision 4.7-inch Retina HD LCD; 1,334×750 pixels 5.8-inch Tremendous Retina HD OLED; 2,436×1,125 pixels
Pixel density 326ppi 458ppi
Dimensions (Inches) 5.45×2.65×0.29 in 5.7×2.79×0.30 in
Dimensions (Millimeters) 138.4×67.3×7.three mm 143.6×70.9×7.7 mm
Weight (Ounces, Grams) 5.22 oz; 148g 6.14 oz; 174 g
Cell software program iOS 13 iOS 11 (can replace to iOS 13)
Digital camera 12-megapixel 12-megapixel (commonplace), 12-megapixel (telephoto)
Entrance-facing digicam 7-megapixel 7-megapixel
Video seize 4K 4K
Processor Apple A13 Bionic Apple A11 Bionic
Storage 64GB, 128GB, 256GB 64GB, 256GB
RAM Not disclosed Not disclosed
Expandable storage No No
Battery Not disclosed Not disclosed
Fingerprint sensor House button No
Connector Lightning Lightning
Headphone jack No No
Particular options Water resistant (IP67); dual-SIM capabilities (nano-SIM and e-SIM); wi-fi charging Water resistant (IP67); wi-fi charging; Face ID; Animoji

iPhone SE 2020

The brand new price range iPhone champ

iPhone X

Expensive even when refurbished

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